Southwestern Athletic Conference Football News: Alabama A&M’s Marcus Cushine named to CoSIDA Football Academic All-America Second-Team

AUSTIN, Texas – Alabama A&M junior defensive end Marcus Cushine has been named a Second-Team CoSIDA Football Academic All-America selection and is one of the 51 best student-athletes in the nation in his sport as announced by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) on Monday, July 12.

Selected by position, his 3.8 Grade Point Average ranks as the third highest among the eight defensive lineman selected and he is the only FCS player to be named to that group. Additionally, he is one of just 10 FCS players selected as an Academic All-America this year and one of only two from a Historically Black College or University (HBCU). The other is Alabama State running back Ezra Gray who was named to the First-Team.

Cushine joins a very select group in Alabama A&M history as he is just the fourth individual to be named a CoSIDA Academic All-America in school history and one of only five such selections in the 69-year history of the award for the program. He joins women’s basketball’s Dariauna Lewis (2020-21, Third-Team) and football’s Tim McCannelly (1979-80, Second-Team) and Tracy Kendall (1989-90 and 1990-91, First-Team) as the only individuals to reach those lofty heights.

With the selection of both Lewis and Cushine this year, 2020-21 marks the first year that the Bulldogs have had multiple honorees and also continues the program’s streak of each Academic All-District selection going on to earn Academic All-America recognition. Both Cushine and Lewis are the first to earn the honor in their sport at the NCAA Division I level and snapped a 29-year drought for the program.

Selected to the First-Team at the defensive line position were Thomas Booker (3.88, Stanford), Matt Henningsen (4.0, Wisconsin), Tarron Jackson (3.43, Coastal Carolina) and Kingsley Jonathan (3.71, Syracuse). Joining Cushine on the Second-Team were Tyriq Harris (3.65, Charlotte), Nick Heninger (4.0/3.4, Utah State) and Juwuan Jones (3.75/4.0, Western Kentucky).

The 2020-21 CoSIDA Academic All-America Football Teams, selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America, have been released to recognize the nation’s top student-athletes for their combined performances athletically and in the classroom.

To be eligible for Academic All-District and All-America consideration, a student-athlete must be a varsity starter or key reserve, maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.30 on a scale of 4.00, have reached sophomore athletic and academic standings at his/her current institution and be nominated by his/her sports information director. Since the program’s inception in 1952, CoSIDA has bestowed Academic All-America honors on more than 20,000 student-athletes in Divisions I, II, III and NAIA, covering all NCAA championship sports.

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